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May 23, 2022

Newsletter – Launch of the OriginAL in Tirana

On May 6, 2022, the OriginAL program was launched in Tirana. The event was attended by more than 80 guests and representatives of local and international organizations.

This event was opened by Mrs Anila Hyka-Smorgrav and Mr Avni Mustafaj, co-chair of the board of directors of GERMIN. Meanwhile, the launch of the program was greeted with introductory words by Mr Skënder Durmishi, Ambassador of Kosovo in Albania, Mrs. Elisabeta Katiaj, Vice President of the Albanian Diaspora Chamber of Commerce and Mrs Andriola Kambo, Director of the Union of Albanian Municipalities in the region, Mrs Sihana Bejtullahu and Mr Lirim Krasniqi, co-leaders of GERMIN, presented the journey of GERMIN so far, respectively the ‘OriginAL’ program and its objectives.

Mrs Hyka-Smorgrav, in her introductory speech, told her journey in GERMIN.

“GERMIN is one of the beloved organizations and the whole board is not only wonderful but in love and very connected. We want to do our best to empower a group that aims to engage the diaspora in many areas” said Hyka-Smorgrav.

Meanwhile, the other co-chair of the GERMIN board, Avni Mustafaj, told a personal story of how his father left Albania for the United States of America during the 60s at the age of 18, being one of the 13 prisoners whom survived from Korça. Mr Mustafaj, told us that he grew up with this story and for years he felt angry about what had happened to his father. But things took a different turn when he visited Albania for the first time.

“And now as we talk to each other, all of us board members realize that we have had the same pain, something that brought us to Albania and Kosovo.”

“We are somewhere between the diaspora and the homeland and we want to find people who have passion and maybe even pain, and find a way to get involved and engaged here.”

The Ambassador of Kosovo in Albania, Mr Skënder Durmishi, expressed his readiness to cooperate with GERMIN and the Global Albanians Foundation on the OriginAL program.

“I am extremely happy to be given this opportunity to be part of this moment, that is bringing between us a missing project, which will have an impact on generations”, said Durmishi.

Watch the summary video of this event below